On Monday, the McAllen city commission gave the green light to the city’s police department to apply for a $600,000 grant that would help fund the Rio Grande Valley Anti-Gang Center.
Funding from the grant from the Office of the Governor, would go towards the salary for two or three full-time positions at the center.
This would mark the fifth year the center requests a grant, which had an initial cost of $5 million.
In September, Governor Greg Abbot visited the Rio Grande Valley to unveil the opening of the facility, The McAllen facility marks one of six championed by Abbott.
The anti-gang initiative, or TAG, is comprised of agents from federal agencies such as the FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and local police departments.
McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez said the center has been a success in helping combat gang activity in the areas.
“We think that it’s changed the manner that law enforcement works from this point forward,” he said.
Agents from 15 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies work at the facility.
Rodriguez said that collaboration has increased the “efficiency in the work they do.”
“Efficiencies in this business means more effectiveness and therefore better service for our community,” he said.
There are dozens of local gangs in the Valley, according to police.
Rodriguez said crimes associated with gang activity, including drug trafficking and violence continue to be a concern in the area.
In February, Governor Abbott announced a proposal to open similar centers in Waco and Tyler.